Thought for the Day: Depressing Liberals

John wrote yesterday about the CDC findings showing that young liberal women in particular are prone to depression, and who can blame them when you survey what they are taught in school. Turns out that smarter liberals (both of them) are wondering exactly this—whether the current dogmas and mode of liberal victimihood aren’t responsible for these soaring rates of depression.

First up is Matt Yglesias:

Some of it might be selection effect, with progressive politics becoming a more congenial home for people who are miserable. But I think some of it is poor behavior by adult progressives, many of whom now valorize depressive affect as a sign of political commitment.

The second witness is Jill Filipovic:

I am increasingly convinced that there are tremendously negative long-term consequences, especially to young people, coming from this reliance on the language of harm and accusations that things one finds offensive are “deeply problematic” or even violent. Just about everything researchers understand about resilience and mental well-being suggests that people who feel like they are the chief architects of their own life — to mix metaphors, that they captain their own ship, not that they are simply being tossed around by an uncontrollable ocean — are vastly better off than people whose default position is victimization, hurt, and a sense that life simply happens to them and they have no control over their response. . .

Leaning into the language of “harm” creates and reinforces feelings of harm, and while using that language may give a person some short-term power in progressive spaces, it’s pretty bad for most people’s long-term ability to regulate their emotions, to manage inevitable adversity, and to navigate a complicated world.

So the question to liberals like Yglesias and Filipovic (and any others who perceive this defect) is: What are you going to do about it? The answer, of course, is nothing.

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